The company's head of music Lyor Cohen says the shift will make it a better partner to the recording industry.
Users who treat the site like a music service will by stymied by more ads, said Cohen, the head of music at YouTube. "You're not going to be happy after you are jamming 'Stairway To Heaven' and you get an ad right after that," he said.
Bloomberg reports that Cohen, who has worked in the record business for 30 years, "Prevailed upon his colleagues and bosses to make some changes to 'be good partners' to the music industry." The aim is to "frustrate and seduce" viewers into becoming subscribers and in the process quell the criticism about the lack of proper payments to musicians and label companies.
Last May, a Google-commissioned report demonstrating YouTube's positive impact on the music industry was met with suspicion. While YouTube has attempted to enter the streaming space with services like YouTube Music Key and YouTube Red, with limited results, it plans to launch a new service, tentatively called Remix, later this year.
A YouTube spokesperson told Resident Advisor: "Our top priority at YouTube is to deliver a great user experience and that includes ensuring users do not encounter excessive ad loads. We do not seek to specifically increase ad loads across YouTube. For a specific subset of users who use YouTube like a paid music service today—and would benefit most from additional features—we may show more ads or promotional prompts to upsell to our paid service."